Is Rakuten (Ebates) a scam?

Hi friends!

[This post was updated April 29, 2021 as Ebates is now called Rakuten.]

When I first posted about Rakuten (formerly Ebates) on my Facebook awhile ago, I was surprised by how many people didn’t know about it and had so many questions for me so I wanted to share this company with you on here so I could babble on :). Before I get into it…just so you know, if you sign up with my link, you get $5 bonus in accordance with their terms and conditions.

I know the ads you see for it look like a scam (sorry Rakuten!) and we all think it’s too good to be true but it’s really simple! To date, I’ve made almost $200, all by just shopping online at stores I ALREADY shop at. Here’s a screen shot to show you.  The ability to make more is there, I just don’t shop THAT often ;). [2021 update: PST. this number is now over $600!]

So how does it work?

Basically, Rakuten gets a referral fee from let’s say “ABC Company” when you click to ABC Company’s website through Rakuten’s site and make a purchase.  To provide incentive to you to use Rakuten, they also give you a percentage of their referral fee instead of keeping it all to themselves.

They keep track of your purchases and referral fees and then four times a year, when your account balance is over $5, they mail you a cheque, deposit to your paypal account or donate to a charity/family member of your choice and viola! It’s that simple.

Here’s an example of what my home page had on May 29, 2017.  Book through Expedia, make money to travel? Heck yes!!


The Canadian Rakuten has over 750+ stores but each store’s commission is different.  They are also in many other countries.  Some sites through Rakuten offer low rates of 1% (like Amazon) but most are around 2-8% but I have seen up to 12%.  That’s $12.00 on every hundred…which definitely adds up! They also do events where the cash back percentage is double the normal percentage so that helps to keep more money in your pocket too.

Tip: Make sure you click to their site through Rakuten, not clicking around the web and then remember to click through Rakuten.

What I like about it:

  1. There’s no membership fee, it’s free to make an account!
  2. They have stores I already shop at like: Sephora, Amazon, Expedia, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Sportchek…the list goes on, which is really a no brainer to me.  Like why not?
  3. It’s easy…you just go to their site first and make sure to click through their link to get the proper credit on your account, which is automatically tracked by them.
  4. It’s no easy and hassle, I don’t get points for a unicorn puppy or junk I don’t want as rewards.  I get real money! Personally I choose to get a cheque 4 times a year as long as my balance is above $5, I deposit it and that’s that!
  5. Your balance doesn’t expire!  I’m not shopping a lot all the time so I’m happy that my money doesn’t expire if you don’t make the cutoff of $5.  It especially comes in handy during Christmas time so I can order my presents online and don’t have to face the angry mobs at shopping centres.

Ps. this post is not sponsored by Rakuten.  I know how skeptical I was when I heard of this company so I wanted to debunk that for you.  I genuinely enjoy shopping online and making money while I’m doing it…who wouldn’t right.

So what are you waiting for? Get a $5 credit by signing up and thank me later!

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